Significant differences exist between the Islamic revivalist movements looking to cultural and spiritual renewal that have swept Southeast Asia in recent years and transnational terrorist networks. Straddling these two extremes are political parties and groups seeking greater autonomy or secession of predominantly Islamic regions.
Many analysts choose to focus on the points of contention between the Asian giants. This is perfectly understandable, for China's industries will grow and compete with Japan's worldwide, and Japan's more assertive military will complicate China's foreign policy goals. But the tensions are only half the story.
Politics in post-Suharto Indonesia remains in flux. President Wahid, the parliament, students, political parties, labor, and the military are all scrambling to find a foothold in the country's new power structure.
The soundness of Latin America's financial health remains dependent on international capital–primarily from the United States–and commodity exports–also primarily to the United States. This dependence on the international financial environment, along with deep-seated domestic economic inequalities and structural deficiencies, means a guarded economic prognosis for the countries of the region.